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The Afghan tragedy and its consequences in terms of people fleeing and seeking asylum in other countries is the theme of the fifteenth background document drafted by FOCSIV as part of the Faces of Migration project, co-financed by the European Union.

The document recalls the conquest of the Taliban in August 2021, the days of panic, the evacuations organized at the last minute in the Kabul airport, and the search for refuge. According to UNHCR data, in December 2021 alone, the number of internally displaced persons peaked at half a million, while the number of refugees, mainly in Iran and Pakistan, is about 2.9 million.  In turn, the World Food Programme estimates that « a total of 22.8 million people-more than half the population-are going hungry as temperatures drop below freezing. » When « humanitarian catastrophe looms, » people may have to choose between starving and leaving the country.

The case of Afghanistan shows the unpreparedness of the international community and the importance of having resettlement plans in place to save thousands of lives. The goal of the 2030 Agenda concerning the creation of safe and orderly migration channels, and the subsequent Global Compact on Migration, are commitments to be achieved as soon as possible, especially in crisis areas where tens of thousands of people are suffering. While it is essential to cooperate for peaceful and inclusive societies (goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda), for a sustainable development that should reduce violent conflicts and social tensions that cause displacement and refugees.

The European Union and its member countries have an international responsibility in what happened in Afghanistan. Evacuating refugees, building humanitarian channels, resettlement plans, supporting humanitarian cooperation, for human rights and inclusive development, should be the priority pillars of action, and not contain the migration of these people with walls.

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